Abusive Christians and How to Protect My Child Living in “The Buckle of the Bible Belt”
Posted: 26 January 2011 09:59 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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I live in what is known as “the buckle of the bible belt” in the USA. I stopped believing about 4 years ago. There were always questions in my mind about God and the bible that just didn’t add up. And whenever I addressed my concerns to youth leaders at church, they always told me that man can’t have all the answers and I just needed to pray and have faith.

I am now a married mother of one son who is five. My family is full of devout “non denominational Christians” who believe in laying your hands on the sick and praying for them in front of the congregation and speaking in tongues. I was never okay with that. I always felt embarrassed whenever I was sent up on stage because I could not speak in tongues, or as they put it, was not filled with the holy spirit.

At my youth group, I ended up being sexually harassed by older boys then mocked when I tried to make them back off. My parents knew this yet they blamed me. They also blamed me and made me continue to attend this youth group even though the adult (18 years old when I was merely 14) who raped me went to church there. They basically told me that if I would not go to the police, then I wanted what happened to me, therefore I was constantly grounded. It must have been 6 months before I was able to have a friend over after that. I was always “living in sin” and my heart was always wicked.

My parents used to beat me and my middle brother (but not my youngest brother) with dowel rods and other things they could find that would hurt “in the name of Jesus” to supposedly drive out the folly in our hearts. My middle brother now lives in a half way house after being released from prison on drug related charges. My youngest brother is on the same path.

I think considering everything I have been through, I have turned out well. I have my high school diploma and have an amazing new family. I also recently applied to go to a university with my husband and we will move our family this summer to another state 2,000 miles away.

My concerns are whenever my mother sees my child, even though I am right there, she tells him that his mommy and daddy are wrong for their beliefs and will burn in hell. This is a recent thing and it really scares my child. I have banned them from seeing us at all, but I am getting a lot of pressure from everyone else in the family, including my father, to make up with her and move past it. I just don’t see how that could even be possible. Yes, I have a lot of anger towards Christianity and religion as well as my parents. But am I justified in keeping them out of my son’s life? They also have a lot of money and they spend thousands on clothes, toys, etc. for him (they don’t support him financially, they just give him all these extra things because he is their only grandchild) and I feel like I could be cheating him out of everything life has to offer him.

I am so tired of people trying to force convert us to Christianity as well. That’s all there is where I am at. I live in a small town and people around here don’t know and don’t want to know any different. I’m also getting a lot of pressure to turn down our university opportunities in favor of staying in the bible belt. They don’t want us to take my son away from extended family. But I feel like I am suffocating here. I hate it so much. I hate that I have to protect my child from every single person we encounter.

Also, how do I move past the abuse that I went through? It is not even so much what I went through as it is witnessing what my brother went through. I was diagnosed with post traumatic stress because of everything and have been in therapy since I became an adult. But I still cannot seem to get past the things I have witnessed, all because of abusive Christians.

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Posted: 27 January 2011 12:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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You wouldn’t have as much anger as the person you define as “mother” though (I see “mother” as a moral role. If some who just, as a consequence of some mere reproductive recreational activity, decide to call themselves by this definition without adherence to any real meaning, well sorry, but that ain’t motherin’). I would, and do, keep my children away from such abuse. The behaviour you have described is merely cultish. Cults are founded on fear and lack of understanding generally.

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Posted: 27 January 2011 09:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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dw4280 - 27 January 2011 02:59 AM

Yes, I have a lot of anger towards Christianity and religion as well as my parents. But am I justified in keeping them out of my son’s life?

Yes. It’s unfortunate, but if you feel that’s what has to happen in order to protect your child from their abusive nature, that’s simply what needs to happen.

 

dw4280 - 27 January 2011 02:59 AM

They also have a lot of money and they spend thousands on clothes, toys, etc. for him (they don’t support him financially, they just give him all these extra things because he is their only grandchild) and I feel like I could be cheating him out of everything life has to offer him.

All that free stuff can turn out to be far more expensive than it could possibly be worth to have if you accept it.

 

dw4280 - 27 January 2011 02:59 AM

I am so tired of people trying to force convert us to Christianity as well. That’s all there is where I am at. I live in a small town and people around here don’t know and don’t want to know any different. I’m also getting a lot of pressure to turn down our university opportunities in favor of staying in the bible belt. They don’t want us to take my son away from extended family. But I feel like I am suffocating here. I hate it so much. I hate that I have to protect my child from every single person we encounter.

You’re apparently immune to the Kool-Aid. Good! But those who are on the stuff definitely aren’t going to understand all that. They’re very much like drug/alcohol addicts that way, and it would make absolutely no sense to take advice from addicts who fear for you because you’re moving away from easy sources of the substance of their addiction. Their fears are based upon their own addiction as well as their presumption that you share it, or that you should.

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Posted: 31 January 2011 05:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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dw4280 - 27 January 2011 02:59 AM

I live in what is known as “the buckle of the bible belt” in the USA. I stopped believing about 4 years ago. There were always questions in my mind about God and the bible that just didn’t add up. And whenever I addressed my concerns to youth leaders at church, they always told me that man can’t have all the answers and I just needed to pray and have faith.

I am now a married mother of one son who is five. My family is full of devout “non denominational Christians” who believe in laying your hands on the sick and praying for them in front of the congregation and speaking in tongues. I was never okay with that. I always felt embarrassed whenever I was sent up on stage because I could not speak in tongues, or as they put it, was not filled with the holy spirit.

At my youth group, I ended up being sexually harassed by older boys then mocked when I tried to make them back off. My parents knew this yet they blamed me. They also blamed me and made me continue to attend this youth group even though the adult (18 years old when I was merely 14) who raped me went to church there. They basically told me that if I would not go to the police, then I wanted what happened to me, therefore I was constantly grounded. It must have been 6 months before I was able to have a friend over after that. I was always “living in sin” and my heart was always wicked.

My parents used to beat me and my middle brother (but not my youngest brother) with dowel rods and other things they could find that would hurt “in the name of Jesus” to supposedly drive out the folly in our hearts. My middle brother now lives in a half way house after being released from prison on drug related charges. My youngest brother is on the same path.

I think considering everything I have been through, I have turned out well. I have my high school diploma and have an amazing new family. I also recently applied to go to a university with my husband and we will move our family this summer to another state 2,000 miles away.

My concerns are whenever my mother sees my child, even though I am right there, she tells him that his mommy and daddy are wrong for their beliefs and will burn in hell. This is a recent thing and it really scares my child. I have banned them from seeing us at all, but I am getting a lot of pressure from everyone else in the family, including my father, to make up with her and move past it. I just don’t see how that could even be possible. Yes, I have a lot of anger towards Christianity and religion as well as my parents. But am I justified in keeping them out of my son’s life? They also have a lot of money and they spend thousands on clothes, toys, etc. for him (they don’t support him financially, they just give him all these extra things because he is their only grandchild) and I feel like I could be cheating him out of everything life has to offer him.

I am so tired of people trying to force convert us to Christianity as well. That’s all there is where I am at. I live in a small town and people around here don’t know and don’t want to know any different. I’m also getting a lot of pressure to turn down our university opportunities in favor of staying in the bible belt. They don’t want us to take my son away from extended family. But I feel like I am suffocating here. I hate it so much. I hate that I have to protect my child from every single person we encounter.

Also, how do I move past the abuse that I went through? It is not even so much what I went through as it is witnessing what my brother went through. I was diagnosed with post traumatic stress because of everything and have been in therapy since I became an adult. But I still cannot seem to get past the things I have witnessed, all because of abusive Christians.

Could you take you and your child away to live in a more secular part of the country. 

No matter what exprensive presents your son gets, if he turned into a bible bashing fundamentalist christian himself, then he would lose his freedom to think, act and live an independent life, do you want that?

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Posted: 21 February 2011 12:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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My wife and I recently moved back to California from Nashville, TN for the very reason you are considering high-tailing it out of that area (I have no idea if you’re near Nashville but we always understood that place to be the “buckle of the Babble Belt”). We moved there six years ago because I’m a songwriter and musician but it only took a few years before we realized that it was never going to be a fit for us, ideologically. Now we are back in California, which has it’s own issues, believe me, but are generally happier for it. I always find it interesting that fundamentalists of any stripe, whether Christian, Muslim or Monkey-God worshippers feel they have to “force” or “coerce” their religion on their loved ones. It would seem to me that the path to “the Way, the Truth and the Light” would be a pretty obvious one and wouldn’t need any sort of biased influence. Good luck whatever decision you make. Peace. :-D

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